Alphabet’s “Other Bets” ISP, Google Fiber, has outlined plans to transform its brand from a “gigabit” service to a “multi-gig” service that will eventually deliver 100 Gbps.
Google Fiber, which has been available in parts of the United States since 2012, enticed customers with the promise of gigabit speeds that US incumbents like Comcast, Time Warner Cable and AT&T couldn’t match.
This forced incumbents to increase speeds in areas where Google Fiber was available, but its coverage was limited and remained stagnant for five years until last month when it revealed plans to expand to five. other states.
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Now, Google Fiber seems ready to relaunch the competition. ISP CEO Dinni Jain said he wanted to provide affordable access to multi-gig speeds and says a colleague recently got 20 Gbps download speeds in Kansas City while testing the service.
“We used to be asked ‘who needs a gig?'” Jain wrote in a blog post. “Now that’s out of the question. All the major vendors in the US seem to have gotten the gigabit memo, and it’s only going up from there – some vendors are already offering 2.5 , 8, or even 10 gigabytes.”
Google Fiber currently offers symmetric 1Gbps service for $70 per month and last year started selling 2/1Gbps upload/download service for $100 per month, with 1TB of storage in cloud.
“In the coming months, we will have announcements to significantly expand our multi-gigabit tiers. These will be critical milestones on our journey to 100 Gig symmetric internet,” Jain said.
“We are already closer than you think,” he continued. “This month, we ran our tests out of the lab and at home, starting with our first trusted tester, Nick Saporito, GFiber’s Head of Business Strategy. Take a close look at this speed test below from Nick’s house in Kansas City – yes, that’s a 20.2 GB download you see!”
But even in states like Atlanta, where Google Fiber has been running for years, it can be difficult to get a Google Fiber connection. Newer buildings have it, but many older buildings don’t. And, as ZDNet’s Ed Bott – a former Google Fiber customer – noticed after he moved, Comcast’s Xfinity offers download speeds of 1.2 Gbps in his apartment, but with paltry download speeds and caps. monthly data.
Jain doesn’t reveal the prices Google Fiber will charge for the different tiers of its multi-gig offerings, but notes that pricing, value and reliability are part of the “highly curated” service it has offered from the start. It also suggests it will be differentiated by speeds within the home, presumably referring to the Wi-Fi 6 mesh network included in the 2Gbps service.
“Unique selling points will be how this network is built to deliver symmetric multi-gig speed at accessible prices – all with a focus on enabling a service that takes advantage of that speed not only at home but also at home”, he writes.
Last February, the American ISP Frontier joined the multi-gigabit club. As noted by ZDNet’s Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Frontier’s 2 gig service remarkably offered that speed across its entire network, unlike multi-gig offerings from AT&T, Google Fiber, Verizon Fios, Xfinity, and Ziply Fiber. .
Google Fiber’s ambitions couldn’t be more different from Elon Musk’s SpaceX Starlink satellite broadband service, which launched in early 2021 and now offers low-latency connections around the world. As Fierce Telecom notes, Google Fiber is being offered in already crowded US markets. Meanwhile, Starlink reaches places that lack fast broadband and becomes noticeably slower due to network congestion and the popularity of the service.
Starlink’s $100-per-month service, on average, currently doesn’t provide more than 100 Mbps download speed in the US, but it’s impacting more places than just some US states.
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